How to begin? The week in which I present my Trasimeno Music Festival is always so intense that it would take thousands of words to describe it all! This year, even after many wonderful festivals in the past, was our best. So much thought goes into the programming, the choice of artists, the venues, the locations for the extra events and gala dinners, the logistics….you have no idea. And then of course I play myself a massive amount of repertoire during the week — much of it from memory. Some people ask why I play in six of the seven concerts. The answer is easy: if I didn’t I simply wouldn’t put on the festival. Why do all that work (for free, by the way—I don’t get one cent from it) and then not have the joy of performing with the wonderful musicians who, if they aren’t already, become best friends and colleagues? My audience which comes from all over the world could not be bettered—I am so proud of them, and I rarely use the word “proud”. Thank you to all who made it such a success! From the young musicians concert (which we must make a regular feature) to the final notes of Bach’s Art of Fugue which I performed for the first time all at once. In between the Orchestra della Toscana outdid themselves in two concerts, thanks to the magnificent work and energy of Finnish conductor Hannu Lintu. Soprano Barbara Hannigan, violinist Chloe Hanslip, clarinetist Mark Simpson, cellist Oliver Coates, and the Mandelring Quartet, all gave the very best of themselves in such a wide range of repertoire. Julian Barnes was a class act (as they say—not my vocabulary really, but he was!), and I think I might even have convinced him to repeat the experience of our Words and Music programme elsewhere in the world. Spread the word for next year! Now I have to think up another exciting programme for July 5-11, 2014.